As you are aware, ships have long been characterized as being female (eg.'steady as she goes'). Recently, a group of computer scientists (all male) announced that computers should also be referred to as being female. Their reasons for drawing this conclusion follow:


No one but the Creator understands their internal logic
The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else
The message 'BAD COMMAND OR FILE NAME' is about as informative as 'If you don't know why I'm mad at you, then I'm certainly not going to tell you!'
Even the simplest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval
As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it. Picky, picky, picky!
They hear what you say, but not what you mean
Beauty is only shell deep
Can produce incorrect results with alarming speed.
You do the same thing for years, and suddenly it's wrong.
They make you take the garbage out.
Miss a period and they go wild!

However, another group of computer scientists (all female) think that computers should be referred to as if they were male. Their reasons follow:


They have a lot of data, but are still clueless
They are suppose to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem.
As soon as you commit to one you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have obtained a better model
In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on
They look nice and shiny until you get them home
It's always necessary to have a back-up
They'll do whatever you say if you push the right buttons
The best part of having one is the games you can play
The lights are on, but no one's home
Size doesn't matter
A better model is always just around the corner
Big power surges knock them out for the night!


The mouse is referred to as a 'critter'
The keyboard is camouflaged
There is a Skoal can in the CD-ROM drive
The password is 'Bubba'
The numeric pad only goes up to 6
'WINDERS 95 has a Dale Earnhardt sticker on it
Outgoing faxes have beer stains on them
The printer goes really slow since Bubba don't read too fast
The extra RAM slots have Dodge truck parts installed in them
The menus all have Budweiser, Black Label, and Old Milwaukee options
The monitor is up on blocks
Seven blue tick hounds under the desk
Deer Jerky in desk drawer
The screen saver consists of pictures of Ned Beatty with Dueling Banjos playing in the background
The six front keys have rotted out
John Deere pocket protectors


This is a true story from the Word Perfect Help Line. Needless to say, the help desk employee was fired. However, he/she is/was allegedly suing the WordPerfect Organization for 'termination without cause'...

'Computer assistance, may I help you?'
'Yes, well, I'm having trouble with Word Perfect'
'What sort of trouble?'
'Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away'
'Went away?'
'They disappeared'
'Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?'
'It's blank, it won't accept anything when I type'
'Are you still in Word Perfect, or did you get out?'
'How do I tell?'
'Can you see the C: prompt?'
'What's a see-prompt?'
'Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?'
'There isn't any cursor. I told you, it won't accept anything I type'
'Does your monitor have a power indicator?'
'What's a monitor?'
'It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a T.V. Does it have a light that tells you when it's on?'
'I don't know'
'Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?'
'Yes, I think so'
'Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged in to the wall'
'...Yes, it is'
'When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?'
'Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable'
'...OK, here it is'
'Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely in to the back of your computer'
'I can't reach'
'Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?'
'Even if maybe you put your knee on something and lean way over?'
'Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle... it's because it's dark'
'Yes, the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window'
'Well, turn on the office light then'
'I can't'
'No? Why not?'
'Because there's a power outage'
'A power... a power outage? Aha, OK, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?'
'Well, yes, I keep it in the closet'
'Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from'
'Really? Is it that bad?'
'Yes, I'm afraid it is'
'Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?'
'Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer!'


Some folks have it, some don't.
Those who have it would be devastated if it were ever cut off.
Those who have it think that those who don't have it are somehow inferior.
Those who have it think it gives them power. They are wrong.
Those who don't have it may agree that it's a nifty toy, but think it's not worth the fuss that those who do have it make about it. Still, many of those who don't have it would like to try it.
It can be up or down. It's more fun when it's up, but it makes it difficult to get any real work done.
In the long-distant past, it's only purpose was to transmit info considered vital to the survival of the species. Some people still think that's the only thing it should be used for.
It provides a way to interact with other people. Some people take this interaction very seriously, others treat it as a lark.
Sometimes it's hard to tell what kind of person you're dealing with until it's too late.
If you don't apply the appropriate protective measures, it can spread viruses.
It has no brain of it's own. Instead, it uses yours.
If you use it too much, you'll find it becomes more & more difficult to think coherently.
We attach an importance to it that is far greater than it's actual size and influence warrant.
If you're not careful what you do with it, it can get you in big trouble.
It has it's own agenda.
Somehow, no matter how good your intentions, it will warp your behavior.
Later, you may ask yourself,'Why on Earth did I do that?'
It has no conscience and no memory. Left to it's own devices, it will just do the same damn dumb things it did before.
Once you've started playing with it, it's hard to stop. Some people would just play with it all day if they didn't have work to do.


Q- My Etch-A-Sketch has all these funny little lines all over the screen
A- Pick it up and shake it
Q- How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A- Pick it up and shake it
Q- What's the shortcut to Undo?
A- Pick it up and shake it
Q- How do I create a New Document window?
A- Pick it up and shake it
Q- How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A- Pick it up and shake it
Q- What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A- Pick it up and shake it
Q- How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A- Pick it up and shake it
Q- How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?


Sony is creating its own computer operating system for its new VAIO laptop. Instead of producing the cryptic error messages characteristic of operating systems like Windows and DOS, Sony's chairman Asai Tawara wants "to capture the high ground by putting a human, Japanese face on what has been until now - an operating system that reflects Western cultural hegemony. For example, we have replaced the usual impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with our own Japanese haiku poetry," Here are some examples of the new effor messages:

A file that big? It might be very useful. But now it is gone.
The Web site you seek cannot be located but endless others exist.
Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return.
ABORTED effort, Close all that you have. You ask way too much.
First snow, then silence. This thousand dollar screen dies so beautifully.
With searching comes loss and the presence of absence: "My Novel" not found.
The Tao that is seen is not the true Tao, until you bring fresh toner.
Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams. Stay the patient course of little worth is your ire. The network is down.
A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone.
Yesterday it worked, today it is not working. Windows is like that.
Three things are certain: Death, taxes, and lost data, guess which has occurred.
You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. This page is not here.
Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, but we never will.
Having been erased, the document you're seeking must now be retyped.
Rather than a beep or a rude error message, these words: "File not found."
Serious error, all shortcuts have disappeared. Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


Last year I upgraded Girlfriend 1.0 to Wife 1.0 and noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources.
No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure. In addition, Wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs and launches during system initialization where it monitors all other system activity.
Applications such as Pokernight 10.3 and Beerbash 2.5 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected. I cannot seem to purge Wife 1.0 from my system. I am thinking about going back to Girlfriend 1.0 but un-install does not work on this program. Can you help me?
Jonathan Powell
Dear Jonathan Powell:
This is a very common problem men complain about but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 1.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a "UTILITIES & ENTERTAINMENT" program.
Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and designed by its creator to run everything. WARNING DO NOT TRY TO: un-install, delete, or purge the program from the system once installed.
Trying to un-install Wife 1.0 can be disastrous. Doing so may destroy your hard and/or floppy drive. Trying to un-install or remove Wife 1.0 will destroy valuable system resources.
You cannot go back to Girlfriend 1.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this. Some have tried to install Girlfriend 2.0 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under Warnings - Alimony/ Child Support.
Others have tried to run Girlfriend 1.0 in the background, while Wife 1.0 is running. Eventually Wife 1.0 detects Girlfriend 1.0 and a system conflict occurs, this can lead to a non-recoverable system crash.
Some users have tried to download similar products such as Fling and 1NiteStand. Often their systems have become infected with a virus.
I recommend you keep Wife 1.0 and just deal with the situation. Having Wife 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Protection Faults (GPFs).
You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur. The best course of action will be to push apologize button then reset button as soon as lock-up occurs. System will run smooth as long as you take the blame for all GPFs.
Wife 1.0 is a great program but is very high maintenance. Suggestions for improved operation of Wife 1.0:
* Monthly use of utilities such as TLC and FTD
* Frequently use Communicator 5.0
Tech Support


Dear Tech Support:
I am currently running the latest version of GirlFriend and have been having some problems lately. I have been running the same version of DrinkingBuddies 1.0 as my primary application, and all the GirlFriend releases I have tried have always conflicted with it. I hear that DrinkingBuddies will not crash if GirIFriend is run in background mode and the sound is turned off. However, I am embarrassed to say I cannot find the switch to turn the sound off. I have resorted to running them separately, and it seems to work okay.
GirlFriend also seems to have a problem coexisting with my Golf 3.0 program, often trying to abort Golf with some sort of timing incompatibility. I probably should have stayed with GirIFriend 1.0, but I thought I might see better performance from GirIFriend 2.0.
After months of conflicts and other problems, I consulted a friend who has had experience with GirIFriend 2.0. He said I probably did not have enough cache to run GirtFriend 2.0 and eventually it would require a Token Ring to run properly. He was right. As soon as I purged my cache, GirlFriend 2.0 uninstalled itself.
Shortly after that, I installed GirlFriend 3.0 Beta Version. All the bugs were supposed to be gone, but the first time I used it, it gave me a virus anyway. I had to clean out my whole system and shut down for a while.
I very cautiously upgraded to GirlFriend 4.0. This time I used a SCSI probe first and installed a virus-protection program. It worked okay for a while until I discovered that GirlFriend 1.0 was still in my system. I tried running GirlFriend 1.0 again with GirlFriend 4.0 still installed, but GirlFriend 4.0 has a feature I didn't know about that automatically senses the presence of any other version of GirIFriend and communicates with it in some way, resulting in the immediate removal of both versions.
The version I have now works pretty well, but there are still some problems. Like all versions of GirIFriend, it is written in some obscure language I cannot understand, much less reprogram. Frankly, I think there is too much attention paid to the look and feel rather than the desired functionality. Also, to get the best connections with your hardware, you usually have to use gold-plated contacts. In addition, I have never liked how GirlFriend is totally object oriented.
A year ago a friend of mine upgraded his version of GirlFriend to GirlFriend Plus 1.0, which is a Terminate and Stay Resident version of GirlFriend. He discovered that GirlFriend Plus 1.0 expires within a year if you do not upgrade to Fiancee 1.0. So he did, but soon after that, he had to upgrade to Wife 1.0, which he describes as a huge resource hog. It has taken up all his space, so he cannot load anything else. And although he did not ask for it, Wife 1.0 came with MotherInLaw, which has an automatic pop-up feature he cannot turn off. I told him to try installing Mistress 1.0, but he said he heard if you try to ran Mistress 1.0 before uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete all of your MSMoney files before uninstalling itself. Then Mistress 1.0 will not install anyway because of insufficient resources.
Looking for your advice on how to sort this all out.